Why Evil?

There are some things that are puzzling, and one of them is why we have to contend with evil. We know that such things as selfishness, hate, fear, dishonesty, disease, are unreal, and we can prove it. But why they seem to be real—we only know that they do.

We also know, though, that time spent in trying to answer the question is a waste. It is like trying to explain why you stole your best friend's wallet when you didn't. You may have been the last one to see it. You may have had it in your hand, and several people may have seen you with it. The evidence says you stole it. But you didn't, and you can only explain that you didn't—never that you did. Yet in such a circumstance you would have to contend with the belief that you are guilty until that belief is destroyed.

Learning to Say "No"
May 18, 1974

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